Drop Leaf Wood Countertops for Kitchens

Drop Leaf Wood Countertops are the perfect way to incorporate additional counter space when you want, and additional kitchen space otherwise. Wood countertops featuring drop leaf ends are perfect for small spaces, but can be incorporated into larger kitchens as well.

Drop Leaf Wood Countertops for Kitchens
Drop Leaf Wood Countertop

Kitchen Designs with Drop Leaf Wood Countertops

Walnut Drop Leaf Wood Countertop in Hawaii
Walnut Drop Leaf Wood Countertop designed by Archipelago Hawaii

Archipelago Hawaii designed this transitional kitchen to include a Walnut with Sapwood Drop Leaf countertop on the end of the kitchen island. The drop leaf adds seating space and additional food preparation space if needed.

Maple Drop Leaf Wood Countertop designed by Griffey Remodeling
Maple Drop Leaf Wood Countertop designed by Griffey Remodeling

Griffey Remodeling designed Maple Wood countertops for this small kitchen in Columbus, Ohio. The section to the right of the stove features a Drop Leaf End. This creates more counter space when needed, while still allowing room to get to the door next to the cabinets.

Visit the Countertop Image Library to see more kitchen designs with Drop Leaf Wood Countertops.

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Round Kitchen Counter Corners

Round Kitchen Counter Corners are an easy way to make your design unique, add a sense of smoothness to your space. In addition, they make the counter safe for families with young children in the kitchen.

Round Kitchen Counter Corners | Wood Countertops, Butcher Blocks, Bar Tops, Tables
Round Kitchen Counter Corners

Round corners can be achieved by designing a counter with a round shape, such as a circle, oval or with an arc or curve. Another way round corners can be achieved is by selecting a round edge profile for the top horizontal edges, bottom horizontal edges and vertical corners. The roundest edge profiles available at Grothouse include: ½” Roundover¾” Roundover1” Roundover1 ½” Roundover and Full Bullnose.

Designs with Round Kitchen Counter Corners

The designers of these kitchens found creative ways to ease the transition from counter to walking zone. It’s pretty standard for kitchen island cabinets to run in a straight line. But sometimes, that isn’t the smoothest route. These two kitchens employ clever usage of wood island countertops with round corners. Though the solutions vary, each makes the nearby passageway feel a little more smooth. Could this be a solution for your kitchen?

Walnut Butcher Block Kitchen Island Countertop with Round Corners
Walnut Butcher Block with Round Corners

Haile Kitchen & Bath designed this transitional kitchen. Its large island features a Walnut end grain butcher block with an arched end. The edge profile selected for this design is an 1/8″ Roundover on the top horizontal edges and bottom horizontal edges.

Peruvian Walnut Kitchen Island Counter and Dining Table with Round Corners
Peruvian Walnut Counter with Round Corners

Kitchen counters with round corners are perfect for dining tables, like this one designed by Wendy Danziger of Danziger Design. This Peruvian Walnut edge grain wood countertop features a 1/8″ Roundover edge profile on the top horizontal edges and bottom horizontal edges. Click here to learn more about this countertop design.

Visit the Grothouse Countertop Image Library to see more designs with round kitchen counter corners.

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Breakfast Bar Tops

Breakfast bar tops are a brilliant way to add extra living space into the kitchen. They are the little perch where you start, and often finish, the day. Most designers choose a solid wood countertop for breakfast bars. Unlike stone and metal, wood is a naturally warm surface that is perfect for sipping morning coffee or enjoying ice cream.

Despite its name, a breakfast bar isn’t just a spot for morning coffee and a bowl of oatmeal. This handy feature, which can be as simple or ornate as your kitchen is, fulfills multiple roles: a cocktail party buffet, a kids’ homework station, extra dinner party seating and more.

Most breakfast bars are designed to sit higher than the kitchen countertops, but they have been designed to align with kitchen countertops as well as even sitting below them.

Designs with Breakfast Bar Tops

Custom Wood Breakfast Bar Tops for Kitchen Islands
Walnut Breakfast Bar Top

The cooking and eating zones on this kitchen island designed by Todd Wiley of Tru Kitchens have been ingeniously divided up, thanks to different worktop materials. It’s a simple trick that makes it instantly feel less like a workaday kitchen and more like a multi-functional space. For the breakfast bar, a Walnut countertop was designed to fit perfectly around the other countertop material.

Custom Wood Reclaimed Chestnut Breakfast Bar Tops for Kitchen Islands
Reclaimed Chestnut Breakfast Bar Top

Designer Alicia Saso, AKBD, of Drury Design Kitchen & Bath Studio used Reclaimed Chestnut for this raised breakfast bar top. The wood has tons of ramshackle character and adds organic charm to the space.

Custom Walnut All Heartwood Breakfast Bar Top
Walnut All Heartwood Breakfast Bar Top

This half-wall could easily have languished as wasted space. However, Kitchenscapes saw an opportunity and put it to work with a simple Walnut All Heartwood counter, fun blue tile and bar stools that creates the perfect spot for coffee or cocktails.

Custom Cherry with Sapwood Breakfast Bar Top
Cherry with Sapwood Breakfast Bar Top

This large Cherry with Sapwood breakfast bar top designed by Kubik Builders provides plenty of room for sitting and gathering out of the main food prep space on the opposite side of the kitchen island.

Want to see more designs featuring breakfast bar tops? Visit the Grothouse Countertop Image Library by clicking here.

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Kitchen Island Shapes

The most common kitchen island shape is a rectangle, but incorporating unique kitchen island shapes into your kitchen design can provide better traffic, more seating, entertaining, food preparation space and, of course, add style.

When designing a kitchen island with a unique shape, the materials used for countertops need to be considered. The luxury of incorporating a wood countertop into the kitchen island design is that wood can be crafted in any shape, style and design. Wood is not restricted like other materials, such as solid metal countertops.

Kitchen Island Shapes | Design Inspiration

L-Shaped Kitchen Island Design | Kitchen Island Shapes with Wood Countertops
L-Shaped Kitchen Island

An L-shaped kitchen island design takes the common rectangle kitchen island and adds some edge. Jennifer Gilmer Kitchen & Bath designed this modern kitchen to feature an L-shaped island. One part of the L is a White Oak Half Parsons Table, creating efficient seating space away from the busiest area of the kitchen. A Cambria Torquay countertop was designed for the other part of the L in this island, creating a food preparation space conveniently located near the range and other appliances.

Geometric Kitchen Island Design | Kitchen Island Shapes with Wood Countertops
Geometric Kitchen Island

Kitchen islands can be designed in geometric shapes, which can take the form of pentagons or octagons or some variation of the two. Auer Kitchens designed this kitchen island to make the most of the space while following the shape of the kitchen itself. The Sapele Mahogany wood countertop was designed for seating along one side of the island and food prep space on the other.

Unique Kitchen Island Design | Kitchen Island Shapes with Wood Countertops
Unique Kitchen Island

Richard Thomas Anuszkiewicz designed this truly unique kitchen island with three different sections creating the ultimate kitchen island. A custom White Oak wood table with an Anvil™ metal base creates banquet seating on one side of the island. Across the top of the bench is another counter, creating a bar area that may be used for food preparation or serving space. Adjacent to that is another countertop with a sink, which can also be used for food preparation. This kitchen was on display at KBIS 2018 and features Liebherr appliances.

Visit the Grothouse Image Library to view more designs with unique kitchen island shapes.

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Butcher Block Knife Slots

Butcher block knife slots are a popular feature selected for kitchen counters. Knife slots are built-in knife storage custom crafted into a wood butcher block countertop.

Butcher Block Knife Slots for easily accessible knife storage and organization
Butcher Block Knife Slots

The term “butcher block” is used by Grothouse when referring to wood countertops built in end grain construction style. End grain is the premium construction style and our recommended surface for food preparation. Knives stay sharper longer when used on butcher blocks because the knife blades slide between the wood fibers, much like cutting into a firm brush. An additional benefit is that butcher blocks don’t show knife marks as readily as wood countertops crafted in edge grain or flat grain construction. Knife slots can be integrated into a butcher block crafted out of any wood specie available at Grothouse.

Knife slots free counter space by eliminating the need for a knife block. They are designed so that knives are easily accessible, but also safely tucked away so that young children cannot reach them.

Knife slots take many different forms, from a single slot to a series of slots that fit different size knives. Knife slots designed to be one long singular slot are more universal, as they fit different size knives. Designing butcher blocks with knife slots of different sizes may be a problem if you change your knife set in the future. Removable knife slots are also available and can be replaced with another piece when you update your knife set.

Designs with Butcher Block Knife Slots

Random Mix Walnut Butcher Block with Knife Slots in Irvine, California
Random Mix Walnut Butcher Block with Knife Slots

Cabinets Plus designed a Random Mix Walnut with Sapwood butcher block to include knife slots. The knife slots were cleverly placed behind the sink, making the knives easily accessible but also out of the way as to not interrupt the food prep space.

Visit the Grothouse Image Library and follow @grothouseinc on Instagram to see more designs with butcher block knife slots.

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Custom Wood Kitchen Countertop History

While kitchen styles have changed from year to year, wood has always been a top choice for kitchen countertops. Wood kitchen countertop history dates back to the early 1900’s when all things house-related were taken over by an exciting wave of modernization.

Custom Wood Kitchen Countertop History in the 1900s
Custom Wood Kitchen Countertop History

The earliest countertop materials were stone and wood. Those who cooked over a fireplace or open flame used the fieldstone hearth as their countertop. Wood wasn’t far behind in the timeline of countertops, and was used just as early as the stone hearth. As cooks began to move away from the fireplace and into a dedicated kitchen, the earliest countertops were still made of stone and wood, the most available products.

Things changed when the 19th century rolled around, like countertops made of lush materials, such as marble, fine woods and occasional metals. These were often found in the most upscale kitchen pantries or serving areas. In the kitchen itself remained the domain of wood.

Wood countertops have had a long presence in kitchens and pantries in the form of work tops or wood tables. Pine, maple, and oak were top choices for worktops at the turn of the 20th century.

Wood Kitchen Countertop History

1920 Wood Kitchen Countertop History
1920’s Kitchen Photo courtesy of Sadro Design Studio Inc by Northlight Photography

This 1920’s L-shaped kitchen features a wood countertop, white cabinetry and beaded board panel backsplash. While this kitchen has countertops at the same height, countertop heights were far from standardized and there would be multiple heights in the same kitchen often.

1950s Wood Kitchen Countertop History
1950’s Kitchen

Many of the features that are standard to modern kitchens today were created during the 1950’s, like having a wood cutting board in close proximity to the sink and food prep area.

1960s Wood Kitchen Countertop History
1960’s Kitchen Photo Courtesy of Veterans United

In the 1960’s and 1970’s societal changes were taking place that impacted kitchen styles. The kitchen became a source for honing culinary crafts, displaying designer cookware and served as the hub for social activity. Wood countertops top of the lower cabinets and the kitchen table.

1970s Wood Kitchen Countertop History
1970’s Kitchen Photo Courtesy of Retro Renovation

The first kitchen islands were introduced in the 1970’s. Pictured above is a Dutch country style kitchen with a butcher block island, checkerboard wall paper, delft backsplash tile and yellow cabinets.

1980s Wood Kitchen Countertop History
1980’s Kitchen Photo Courtesy of Vintage Goodness

The idea of a completely open kitchen with appliances designed to show off came into being in the 1980’s. This kitchen features a large kitchen island with a wood counter and a stove with a cooktop created for display in addition to function.

Want to learn more about wood kitchen countertop history? Visit www.glumber.com. Be sure to like Grothouse on Facebook for daily wood countertop innovation.

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Countertop Design Trend: Wood Countertops and Apron Sinks

A current countertop design trend is pairing a wood countertop with an apron sink. This is a timeless combination that is popular in any style kitchen, especially in traditional and transitional kitchens.

Wood Countertop Design Trend Wood Countertops and Apron Sinks
Countertop Design Trend: Wood Countertops and Apron Sinks

The type of wood selected for the countertop varies, but the most popular species is Walnut. Various types of apron sinks are used, from a classic white to copper and patterned sinks.

When sealed with Grothouse exclusive Durata® permanent finish, the countertop is completely waterproof and safe from water damage. Durata® is available in different sheen levels, and the sheen level chosen varies based on the look the designer is striving to achieve.

Durata® Satin finish is a sheen level of 35 and has an appearance similar to common household furniture and dining tables. Satin sheen is the most popular selection. Durata® Semi-Gloss finish is a sheen level of 55 and is the best application for a kitchen countertop with a glossy finish. Durata® Matte finish is a sheen level of 10 and has an organic appearance similar to natural oil finishes.

Countertop Design Trend Inspiration

Countertop Design Trend Cherry Wood Countertop with Copper Apron Sink in Farmhouse Traditional Style Kitchen
Cherry Countertop with Copper Apron Sink

Kelly Bailey of Coastal Cabinet Works designed a Cherry All Heartwood kitchen island countertop to feature a copper apron sink. The countertop is finished with Durata® Waterproof Permanent Finish in Matte sheen.

Countertop Design Trend Walnut Wood Counters with Apron Sink in Traditional Style Kitchen
Walnut Counters with Apron Sink

Walnut wood counters were designed by Chris Black-Puckett Design for the perimeter of this traditional kitchen. The walnut counters include a white apron sink with beautiful detailing on the front. The counters are accentuated with Level 2 Distressing and finished with Durata® Permanent Waterproof Finish.

Countertop Design Trend Walnut and Cherry Checkerboard Butcher Block with Apron Sink
Walnut and Cherry Checkerboard Butcher Block with Apron Sink

Showcase Kitchens designed a Walnut and Cherry checkerboard butcher block for the island in this traditional style kitchen. Although this is a butcher block, an apron sink was still able to be incorporated into the design. The wood butcher block is still safe from water damage.

Want to see more kitchens featuring this countertop design trend? Visit the Grothouse Image Library! Be sure to follow @grothouseinc on Instagram to see more design trends.

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What Edge Profile Should I Use for My Kitchen Countertops?

The edge profile of your kitchen countertop may seem like a mundane detail when looking at your kitchen as a whole. However, it can make a world of difference to the look and function of your countertops, as well as the kitchen overall.

With over 40 edge profiles available for application on Grothouse solid surfaces, it can make deciding on an edge profile a difficult decision. Industry Designers typically select a profile that reflects the style of the kitchen.

Simple Edge Profile

Simple Edge Profile Kitchen Countertop
Kitchen Countertop with a Simple Edge

A simple profile, such as the 1/8” Roundover, exhibits a simple rectangular edge. Designers typically select this profile for countertops in contemporary or modern kitchens because it gives a minimal, modern appeal. Jennifer Gilmer Kitchen & Bath designed this modern kitchen to feature a large Peruvian Walnut countertop. The countertop features a 1/8” Roundover edge profile to match the sleek lines throughout the rest of the kitchen.

Ornate Edge Profile

Ornate Edge Profile Kitchen Countertop
Kitchen Countertop with an Ornate Edge

More ornate profiles usually carry a traditional air and a sense of warmth and personality. Venegas and Company, Boston designed this traditional kitchen to feature a White Oak island countertop with a French Baroque edge. The French Baroque edge is a very ornate, elegant profile structured as a stacking of a cove and bead and cove. The classical style of the edge complements the rest of the kitchen and enhances the old-world feel.

Designers may also select a profile based on the intended use of the counter. If a butcher block is being designed for a food preparation station, Roundover profiles are often preferred so that the edge profile does not take away from the function of the countertop.

Ultimately, selecting an edge profile for your kitchen countertops is a decision that comes down to personal priorities and preference. Check out the Countertop Design Guide to learn more about designing a solid surface.

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Wenge Raised Pastore Counter in Home & Design Magazine

Home & Design magazine featured a simple and serene condo renovation in Old Town Alexandria, Virginia. Written by Julie Sanders, the renovation included a kitchen design by Sarah Kahn Turner of Jennifer Gilmer Kitchen & Bath, Ltd. that features a Grothouse Wenge Raised Pastore Counter for the kitchen island.

Wenge Raised Pastore Counter in a Kitchen in Alexandria, Virginia featured by Home & Design Magazine
Kitchen Design by Sarah Kahn Turner of Jennifer Gilmer Kitchen & Bath, Ltd. | Image Source: Home & Design Magazine

Celia Welch, the interior designer, had a goal, given by the client, to make the condo comfortable, elegant, chic and urban. The client’s main priority was to have one flowing, light-filled space. Welch and kitchen designer Sarah Kahn Turner collaborated to redesign the outdated kitchen. To achieve these goals, the first step was to remove the wall that separated the kitchen from the open-plan living and dining room.

The open-plan created space for a long kitchen island featuring a quartz counter, over which the Grothouse Wenge Pastore counter hovers with waterfall sides and room for four stools.

Welch stated, “We didn’t want the traditional look of a two-level countertop. This adds a little extra dimension.”

Wenge Raised Pastore Counter

Wenge is a heavy wood that has high resistance to abrasion and high bending strength. Its strong grain and subtle color variation creates its dark, sleek attractive appearance.

The Wenge counter for this kitchen was custom crafted to feature a Roundover edge profile. The Roundover edge profile exhibits a simple look to contribute to the simple and serene feel of the rest of the kitchen. The counter is finished with Grothouse Original Oil™.

Click here to see the rest of this townhouse renovation. Visit the Grothouse Countertop Image Library to see more kitchen designs with a Wenge Raised Pastore Counter.

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Stained White Oak Countertop for Gold Award-Winning Kitchen

A modern prairie-style home in Grand Rapids, Michigan won a Gold Award for custom kitchen design at the NAHB Best in American Living awards. In addition to this gold award-winning kitchen design, the home was the headliner of the 2017 Spring Parade of Homes.

Award-Winning Kitchen for Modern Prairie Style Home in Grand Rapids, Michigan includes Stained White Oak Countertop by Grothouse
Award-Winning Kitchen | Photography by Chuck Heiney

The $1M-plus house is the result of a beautiful collaboration between Architect/Designer, 42 North – Architecture + DesignBuilder BDR Executive Custom Homes, Inc.Interior Designer Christine DiMariaInterior Merchandiser Tru Kitchens and Landscape Architect/Designer Twin Lakes Nursery.

Award-Winning Kitchen Details

Gold Award-Winning Kitchen Design Details for Modern Prairie Style home in Grand Rapids, Michigan
Gold Award-Winning Kitchen Design Details

The clients wanted the design of their home to emphasize its forest-framed views of the river. Understated earth tones, light colors, Fon du Lac stone and wood accents also play off the home’s surroundings creating a home that truly embodies modern indoor-outdoor living.

Stained White Oak Countertop Custom Crafted by Grothouse for Award Winning Kitchen in Grand Rapids, Michigan
Stained White Oak Countertop Custom Crafted by Grothouse

A custom Stained White Oak wood countertop was crafted for the kitchen island to accompany a quartz counter. The countertop was crafted 1-3/4 inches thick in Edge Grain construction style. Skillfully crafted so all the grain runs in the same direction, this countertop is finished with Durata® Waterproof Permanent Finish in Matte sheen.

Visit the Grothouse Image Library to see more award-winning kitchen designs featuring custom wood countertops.

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